I am not a cool person, not really. When I was a kid I wanted to be cool but utterly failed at it. I can assure you that I was awkward and unpopular and got along better with grown ups. I never knew what was trendy. My mother had to tell me what to wear. I found the social customs of high school to be bewilderingly complex. I also thought they were pretty stupid.
I went to a small college with 2000 other un-cool kids and managed to be un-cooler than most of them. Up through college, past college, and well into adulthood, I was a shy, over-read dork who would sometimes loose her temper with the shallowness of society. Many times I would go off on a rant and demand that everyone around me be less stupid. I’m sure you can guess how much success I had with that.
But these days I can sometimes trick people into thinking I am, in fact, cool.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day. The sun was out and the temperatures were warm. We don’t get many days in December that I can venture outside without six layers of clothing on, but we did yesterday. I got to take advantage and spend several glorious hours outside spinning yarn at a nearby Starbucks.
The trick to being cool when you are inherently un-cool, is to be out of place. Like one block off the most congested highway in Texas with a spinning wheel.
Its a very busy Starbucks. The parking is atrocious. Right next door is a high school and so at exactly 4:15 every weekday, this coffee shop is absolutely mobbed by teenagers. But they have nice outdoor, canopy covered seating and I like to go there and spin. Almost no one wants to sit outside, even on gloriously warm days in December, so I often have it all to myself.
(I didn’t have it all to myself yesterday. I had company which was very nice. One lady sat with me and knitted on her Trickery. The other was crocheting a last minute Christmas gift for her daughter. But I don’t have permission to splatter their faces all over the blog so you’ll just have to take my word for it.)
So there I was with my wheel. A man walked up, pointed, and said “That’s cool! What you’re doing there is very cool!” I swear to the Almighty that is exactly what he said. Since he was younger (than me), sporting a professional hair cut, plenty of tattoos, and sunglasses that cost more than a sweater’s worth of hand dyed yarn, I figure he knows a lot about being cool. How nice to be proclaimed cool by such an expert in the field.
Then I went to the bathroom and got my reminder that I am, fact quite un-cool. Starbucks (as I’m sure you know) has embraced the gender-neutral bathroom trend. Starbucks is in the business of adopting trends so I guess they pretty much have to. At this particular Starbucks, there are two bathrooms, right next to each other, and everyone in the entire world can tell that 15 seconds ago they were labeled “Men’s” and “Women’s”. But now they have these:
And I thought “That is so stupid. These are single person bathrooms. They were ALWAYS gender neutral. This whole trend is stupid.”
I’m just faking the cool bit you see.
The lady who was crocheting her daughter a Christmas gift is cooler than me. She is 89 years old by the way, and stuck in a wheel chair. But when confronted with the gender-neutral bathroom, she was not even phased. She told me that it didn’t bother her at all but it was a bit disappointing. She’d expected to find a man in there, possibly with his pants down. Her friend told her maybe next time she’d have better luck.
If I ever walk into a public bathroom and find a man with his pants down around his ankles I will not be pleased. And I’ll probably tell him just how stupid I think he is.